India captain Rohit Sharma was relieved after India registered a comprehensive six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the fourth T20I of the Nidahas Trophy at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. (MATCH SCORECARD)
Rohit lauded the combined effort shown by his team and termed it a "smart performance".
"Smart performance, especially from the bowlers. To restrict a batting unit like that, it was a great effort from the bowlers. The conditions weren't easy for the bowlers, there was a bit of dew on the ground. Neither easy for the spinners nor the pacers, but they have executed their plans really well. Just continued where we left off against Bangladesh," Rohit said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Opting to bowl, young Shardul Thakur (4/27) registered his best T20 bowling figures as Sri Lanka lost their way in the middle overs after Kusal Mendis' fifty to be restricted to 152 for nine. The match was reduced to 19-overs-a-side affair after over an hour was lost due to rain.
"The bowlers came out and executed the ideas and plans really well. We discussed a lot of things and it was very much on display for everyone to see.
By virtue of this win, India have managed to avenge upon their five-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the tournament opener.
"We bat really deep, and we haven't had a batting line-up like that in a long time," he said.
However, the run chase was not easy as India witnessed a horrendous start to their chase, losing both the openers -- skipper Rohit Sharma (11) and in-form Shikhar Dhawan (8) early.
In came Suresh Raina (27) and made his intentions clear with a couple of fours and sixes to lift India. But the left-hander looked in a hurry and in the process lost his wicket, chipping one straight to Thisara Perera at mid-off Nuwan Pradeep (1/30) as India slumped to 63 for three after seven overs.
KL Rahul (18), who came in place of Rishabh Pant, looked in good tough during his short stay before being dismissed in a strange manner. After surviving a close run out chance in the previous ball, Rahul got out hit wicket while trying to work a Jeevan Mendis delivery into the leg side.
But thereafter, Pandey and Karthik ensured there were no more hiccups as they stitched unbeaten 68 runs for the fifth wicket to guide India home comfortably.
"We have a lot of all-rounders, but the middle-order hasn't had opportunities to bat in the recent past, but as you saw today, Manish and DK batted extremely well. Can't single out a performance, it was a complete team effort," Rohit said.
The captain also said that his team now needs to continue the momentum.
"We aren't laid back at all, because all three teams are still alive in the tournament. They can all stand at four points. So we need to continue the momentum from hereon. The new guys have all taken their opportunities and made good use of it. So we don't need to go and change anything, we just need to play the way we have over the last two years," he concluded.